Friday, May 12, 2006

Egyptian Baba Ghanouj & the Importance of Soaking Your Blender

This was my first time making baba ghanouj, that zesty eggplant dip, and I forgot to soak my blender. Cleaning up "later" had seemed like a good idea at the time (10pm last night), but by this morning the eggplant residue had cemented itself to the blender blades. Not my best laid plan.

("But you know," said my sister as I bemoaned my crusty blender, "Only one plan in your life will ever be your best laid plan. All the others will be less than best." - "Yes, but that one's sure to go awry." - "Hmm. So maybe this was your best after all.")

Anyway, should you make baba ghanouj, always soak your blender.

Here's the recipe (from Anna Thomas's The New Vegetarian Epicure):

Makes enough for 6 – 8
(This is a popular dish all over the Middle East, but according to Wikipedia the tahine variation originated in Egypt)

3 lbs firm young eggplants
2 medium onions
1/2 head of garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp tahine (sesame paste)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of cayenne

Roast the eggplant at 400 degrees for an hour, until the poor shriveled fruits collapse into a puddle of goo. Anna Thomas recommends scooping out the flesh and discarding the seeds and skin, but I like the seeds and skin, especially when blended into tiny bits by my crusty blender.

While the eggplant cooks, chop the onion and garlic. Cook them on low heat in a saucepan with the olive oil for about 45 minutes, until they are a soft, caramelized gold.

Combine collapsed eggplant, carmalized onion and garlic, and everything else in blender. Blend. Serve with pita bread. Soak blender.


Chas Ravndal said...

this is nice since i like eggplants you know

Curiosity Killed the Cook said...

Actually, I didn't know that, but I'm pleased as punch that you do. Nicely done.